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ISLAMABAD: Federal government on Monday announced a massive raise in the price of high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs 8.14 per litre and petrol by Rs 4.53 per litre due to higher fuel prices internationally, in a fortnight review of petroleum products starting from April 16, 2024.

Despite a decline in the import premium as claimed by Pakistan State Oil (PSO) on HSD and petrol as well as a slightly improvement in the exchange rate, the higher international Brent Oil price compelled the government to raise the fuel prices. The impact of the Middle East escalation is yet to pass on general masses.

The prices of petrol and HSD had witnessed increase globally by $4 and $4.50 per barrel in the last fortnight started from April 1. The import premium on petrol dropped to $10.7 per barrel compared with $13.50 in previous review of petroleum products and the rupee strengthened by 41 paisa against a US dollar to Rs278.20. The HSD price, was up in the international market and its import premium paid by Pakistan State Oil remained unchanged at $6.50 per barrel.

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The petrol price went up by around $4 per barrel to $98 last week while HSD price went up by $4.50 per barrel to $102.

The new ex-depot price of petrol is now fixed at Rs 293.94 per litre and HSD price is at Rs 290.38 per litre.

The government has already attained permissible limit of Rs60 per litre petroleum levy under the law on both petrol and HSD. The International Monetary Fund had assured to collect Rs 920 billion PL against budgetary target of Rs 869 billion as PL on petroleum products during the current fiscal year 2024-25.

In previous review of petroleum products, the government had increased the price of petrol by Rs9.66 per litre and reduced HSD by Rs3.32 per litre.

On Monday, oil tankers owner association warned the management of Rawalpindi region to address their issues immediately otherwise they would suspend supply of fuel to airport, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan region.

Oil Companies Advisory Committee also wrote a letter to the Special Investment Facility Council and warned that smuggling of petroleum products threatens $6 billion investment in refineries. The smuggling of oil products from Iran under government patronage should be stopped immediately, the OCAC stated.

Iran’s smuggling of petroleum products is causing a huge financial loss of 35.6 million dollars or 10 billion rupees per month. On March 25, a letter was also written to the Secretary Petroleum on this issue, but there was no result. If the smuggling of petroleum products is not stopped, the plans for expansion and upgrading of refineries will become unworkable, OCAC says.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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